As Alexander de Tocqueville observed nearly two centuries ago, Americans are by nature an optimistic people. This optimism has often been a source of national strength, propelling us to seek ever greater heights.Sponsored Ads
In certain instances, however, optimism can be dangerous. One such instance is in dealing with China’s rise. Many Americans have failed to grapple with the magnitude of China’s rise, confident that Beijing will go ultimately go the way of the Soviet Union or Japan in the 1980s. Those making this case can marshall some impressive statistics to bolster their case that America remains far and away the most powerful country in the world. One of the more popular data points they use is defense spending: specifically, that America still spends about four times as much as China on its military.